The “In the Footsteps of Che” brigade honors Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. This October is the 50th anniversary of Che’s death in combat in Bolivia, where he helped lead a guerilla movement against that country’s military dictatorship in 1967. Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, died last November.
The brigade will include voluntary agricultural work and visits to battle sites where Che fought during the 1956-58 revolutionary war. Brigade participants will meet with combatants who fought alongside Che during Cuba’s revolutionary war and in the Cuban military column that fought alongside Congolese fighters seeking independence from Belgium in 1960.
“We organized a public meeting on the brigade at the Hartford public library,” Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba member Tim Craine told the Militant July 18. Four people signed up to go after hearing about the itinerary and the significance of the visits to the places where Che fought during the revolution. Now we’re raising funds to help people to go.”
Milly Guzman-Young attended the meeting and signed up to go with her daughter. “I am from Puerto Rico. I have so much to learn from Che and the steps that Cuba took to be free,” she told the Militant. “Puerto Rico needs to be free from the austerity measures and the hands of the U.S. Cuba did it and they are still free.”
“You can see for yourself the gains the Cuban people have made,” Jonathan Batres, 24, who joined the May Day Cuba brigade from Los Angeles, told the Militant. “You can see the effects of Washington’s economic blockade, and how resourceful and resilient the Cuban people are.”
This fall Batres is planning to go to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Russia. The festival is sponsored by the World Federation of Democratic Youth, an anti-imperialist organization that has organized similar gatherings since 1947.
“Going to Sochi where thousands of people will exchange different opinions, and being able to meet revolutionary-minded young people from around the world, will also be an amazing experience,” Batres said. “Through opportunities like this we’re able to reach out all over the world and build the movement against war and exploitation.”
Some 20,000 delegates from 120 countries are expected this year. Cuba is organizing to send 250 young revolutionaries. Although the deadline for registration was July 20, the Militant will continue to cover the preparations and political debates leading up to the festival.
To sign up for the “In the Footsteps of Che” Brigade, contact the Chicago Cuba Committee at (312) 952-2618 or ICanGoToCuba@gmail.com.
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